A crucial win: Liverpool 3-2 PSG

Here are three talking points from a thrilling night at Anfield:

Sturridge’s special moment: It’s an unfortunate quirk of circumstances that Sturridge had never started a Champions League match for Liverpool until the visit of PSG.  In fact, the previous occasion he featured in a game in the competition from kick-off came before he even joined the club – in March 2012.  But the No.15 grasped his long-awaited chance by heading home the breakthrough goal of a frantic encounter against the French champions, from Andy Robertson’s perfect cross at the Kop end.  And, despite that gap between Champions League starts, Sturridge actually extended his run of being directly involved in goals in the tournament for Liverpool. He has now done so in four consecutive appearances – two goals and two assists.

Reds set goal pace in Europe: Liverpool’s three goals on the night increased our tally in the competition proper since the beginning of last season to 44 – a total no team in Europe can match.  That haul has come in 14 games at an average of more than three per fixture, making the Reds comfortably the tournament’s most prolific side during that period.  Klopp’s team have been especially relentless at Anfield, scoring 34 times in their past 10 European games at the ground, with only FC Porto shutting them out in that run.

Advantage Liverpool in Group C

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 1 1 0 0 3 2 1 3
2 Crvena Zvezda 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
3 Napoli 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
4 Paris Saint-Germain 1 0 0 1 2 3 -1 0

While the Reds were fighting hard to finally beat PSG, elsewhere in the group Red Star Belgrade and Napoli were sharing the points in a goalless stalemate.  Nothing could separate the fourth and second seeds in the section respectively, meaning Liverpool hold a two-point lead after the first round of matches.

We’ll now look to build on that minor advantage in our next Champions League fixture – an away trip to Napoli in early October.

Spurs 1-2 Liverpool

Here’s a few thoughts following our victory against Spurs:

Liverpool’s flying start: The Reds’ 2-1 triumph over Spurs extended our 100 per cent winning start to the season to five matches – a feat we have only achieved on two previous occasions in the top flight.  Bob Paisley’s European champions enjoyed a six-game winning streak to open the 1978-79 season and went on to win the league title ahead of Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.  In 1990-91, Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool began their First Division campaign with an eight-game winning streak and finished as runners-up.  Jürgen Klopp’s men have made the perfect start with victories over West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion, Leicester City and now Tottenham. Just another 33 Premier League games to go.

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 6 6 0 0 14 2 12 18
2 Manchester City 6 5 1 0 19 3 16 16
3 Chelsea 6 5 1 0 14 4 10 16
4 Watford 6 4 1 1 11 6 5 13
5 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4 0 2 12 7 5 12

Trent’s half-century: On a day of landmarks, full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold made his 50th appearance for Liverpool after also making his debut against Spurs in the fourth round of the League Cup back in October 2016.  A fresh-faced and relatively unknown Academy graduate back then, the 19-year-old is now a Champions League finalist, has made a World Cup appearance with England and is a stalwart of the Reds back four.  Here, he enjoyed a running battle with the lively Lucas Moura. One stand-out moment came when he won a physical challenge with the Brazilian and then kept his composure to calmly play out from the back amid a swarm of opposition players closing in.

Goals, goals, goals: Despite Tottenham and Liverpool topping the charts for the most minutes played by their players in the international break (1,628 and 1,563 respectively) we shouldn’t have been surprised that they still managed to serve up an exciting spectacle.  The three strikes that hit the net at Wembley today mean there have now been 152 goals scored in Premier League matches between the two clubs – more than in any other fixture in the competition’s history.  Firmino’s second-half finish was Liverpool’s 90th Premier League goal against Spurs. The Reds have only scored more (91) against Newcastle United.

Liverpool confirm Premier League and Champions League squads

Liverpool have submitted their final squads for the Premier League and the group stage of the Champions League, with Lazar Markovic absent from both.

Markovic failed to agree terms with Anderlecht at the end of the transfer window so will remain at Liverpool until January at least despite the Reds’ persistent efforts to offload the winger.  Liverpool had a spare place on their Premier League squad list but Markovic has still been left out.

Loris Karius, who recently joined Besiktas on loan, has been included, having been named amongst the substitutes for the opening game of the season against West Ham United.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to miss the whole of the season after sustaining multiple ligament damage in last season’s Champions League semifinal, but he has also made the squad.  The club seem to hope that Oxlade-Chamberlain could get some match time towards the end of the season.

Klopp will also have Divock Origi, who came close to leaving, at his disposal both domestically and in Europe.

Connor Randall, on loan at Rochdale until the end of 2018, features as one of the mandatory homegrown players.

The club have registered 17 foreign-trained and six homegrown players, two short of the maximum that could only be achieved by adding two more homegrown players, as each club can register up to 17 foreign and up to eight homegrown.

There is no place for Karius, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Randall in the Champions League squad, but it is otherwise largely the same as that selected for the Premier League.  Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez need not be named as they are young enough to qualify for the ‘B list’.

Liverpool’s Premier League squad:

Alisson Becker, Simon Mignolet, Loris Karius, Kamil Grabara*, Caoimhin Kelleher*; Trent Alexander-Arnold*, Nathaniel Clyne, Connor Randall, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez*, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Nathaniel Phillips, Andrew Robertson, Alberto Moreno; Fabinho, Pedro Chirivella*, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Adam Lallana, Curtis Jones*, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Mohamed Salah, Rafa Camacho*, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane, Dominic Solanke*, Rhian Brewster*

*Under-21s

Champions League squad, as listed on UEFA Website:

Alisson Becker, Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Virgil van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Dominic Solanke

 

Mane wins PFA Player of the Month for August

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has won the first PFA Fans’ Player of the Month award of the 2018-19 Premier League season.

The Reds No.10 scored three goals in three games during August to help his team on their way to a 100 per cent start to the campaign so far.

And Mane was the overwhelming winner in a poll of fans across the country for the PFA accolade for last month, taking 58 per cent of the votes.

He finished ahead of Cardiff City’s Neil Etheridge and Watford’s Roberto Pereyra, as well as Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) and Benjamin Mendy (City).

Andy Robertson is new Scotland captain

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has today been appointed the new Scotland national team captain.

The 24-year-old officially takes the armband ahead of the friendly with Belgium in Glasgow on Friday night and UEFA Nations League tie against Albania three days later.

Robertson has accrued 22 caps and scored two goals for his country to date, since a debut against Poland in March 2014.

The left-back has made 34 appearances for the Reds since signing from Hull City last summer and was a key figure in the run to last season’s Champions League final.

The human catapult

I’m not a fan of rollercoasters, let alone bungee jumps, but for those of you who want something more extreme, try this human catapult.

The Nevis Catapult hurls willing participants 150 metres (164 yards) across the Nevis Valley near Queenstown, New Zealand.  If you’re up for it, you can experience up to 3g of force, and fly at speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) in 1.5 seconds. While these are impressive numbers, the video of the whole thing speaks for itself.

Henry van Asch, co-founder of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand, revealed the Nevis Catapult after “years of playing around with the idea.”  He added “it’s a pretty unique feeling, surprising even. There’s nothing else quite like it”.

The Nevis Catapult was a specially built design, then tested out-of-sight in Christchurch over the last nine months. Testing began with weighted barrels, before moving on to a test dummy phase, and then finally, brave humans.

Like many of these things it’s not cheap, costing NZ$255 (US$176), and you’ll need to be at least 13 years old to participate, plus weigh between 45 to 127 kilograms (99 to 279 lbs).

Liverpool to face PSG, Napoli and Red Star in Champions League

Liverpool will face Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade in Group C of the Champions League this season.

Thursday’s draw took place in Monaco and placed the Reds – runners-up in the competition last term – in the same section as the clubs from France, Italy and Serbia respectively.

The opening matches of the group stage will be held on September 18/19, with further fixtures on October 2/3, October 23/24, November 6/7, November 27/28 and December 11/12.

Liverpool have played each of the three teams twice before: PSG in the Cup Winners’ Cup (1997), Napoli in the Europa League (2010) and Red Star in the European Cup (1973).

Jürgen Klopp is confident Liverpool will be a ‘big challenge’ for any team in Europe, after sharing his reaction with the clubs official website.

Full Champions League group stage draw

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Bruges.

Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan.

Group C: Paris St-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade.

Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray.

Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens.

Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim.

Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen.

Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys.

Bowling Tricks and Pool Shots

Poolbowl must be some kind of combination of pool and 10 pin bowling.  This video shows us that Jason Belmonte and Florian “Venom” Kohler have a lot of time on their hands, and have used it to perfect some glorious tricks. So what if they have terabytes of outtakes, this compilation video is awesome!

The #DeleAlliChallenge

The next internet craze is upon us: People are trying, and mostly failing, to copy a pose Tottenham Hotspur player Dele Alli did after he scored a goal against Newcastle this week. Whether it was planned or not, this was the first sighting of this now iconic hand gesture.

What Alli does with his hands looks simple enough — but it turns out making an “ok” sign with your thumb and forefinger, turning it upside-down, and then letting it rest around your eye is actually harder than it seems.  Good luck trying to replicate it.

Liverpool confirm 2018/19 squad numbers

Today, Liverpool have released an official announcement that Alisson Becker and Fabinho have made their decisions as to their squad numbers.

Fabinho, who signed from Monaco at the beginning of the window, will sport the no.3 he has been wearing throughout pre-season.

Compatriot Alisson Becker will continue to don the no.13 shirt, meaning Loris Karius technically remains the no.1 after rumours of a swap.

Elsewhere, young forward Rhian Brewster, who will be promoted to the first-team set-up on his return from injury, will be no.24.

Liverpool squad numbers – in full:

1 – Loris Karius

2 – Nathaniel Clyne

3 – Fabinho

4 – Virgil van Dijk

5 – Georginio Wijnaldum

6 – Dejan Lovren

7 – James Milner

8 – Naby Keita

9 – Roberto Firmino

10 – Sadio Mane

11 – Mohamed Salah

12 – Joe Gomez

13 – Alisson Becker

14 – Jordan Henderson

15 – Daniel Sturridge

16 – Marko Grujic

17 – Ragnar Klavan

18 – Alberto Moreno

20 – Adam Lallana

21 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

22 – Simon Mignolet

23 – Xherdan Shaqiri

24 – Rhian Brewster

26 – Andrew Robertson

27 – Divock Origi

29 – Dominic Solanke

32 – Joel Matip

47 – Nathaniel Phillips

48 – Curtis Jones

50 – Lazar Markovic

54 – Sheyi Ojo

56 – Connor Randall

62 – Caoimhin Kelleher

64 – Rafa Camacho

66 – Trent Alexander-Arnold

68 – Pedro Chirivella

73 – Kamil Grabara

The Two-Minute Surf Wave

Pro surfer Koa Smith caught a wave off Namibia’s Skeleton Bay that took him for a nearly a mile! He surfed a single wave for a distance of 1.5 kilometers for two minutes that took him through eight barrels. It was captured on video, both from a drone and from Smith’s own GoPro POV. Both videos are mesmerizing.

My whole day surfing I try to InVision that one dream wave that I want to experience. I picture it clearly. What it will look like. How it will feel. The emotions pouring out of me when the wave is complete. Then this happen 🙂

Juventus Sold $60 Million Of Ronaldo Jerseys In 24 Hours

Juventus reportedly sold $60 million worth of Ronaldo jerseys in 24 hours — almost half his transfer fee.

Juventus, the biggest football club in Italy, sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys in just 24 hours, according to Yahoo Italy, The Guardian, and beIN Sports. As official Ronaldo jerseys cost about $120, that would be $62.4 million in total revenue — almost half his transfer fee.

Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus last week in a $129.3 million (£99.2 million) deal, but the Italian club will not recuperate the bulk of the transfer fee from shirt sales alone, as typically clubs receive only 10-15% of the revenue generated by the kit manufacturer (in this case, Adidas). It is therefore likely that Juventus will see about $6 million to $9 million of this money.  Regardless, Juventus is still feeling the effects of acquiring one of the planet’s most famous athletes.

When news of Ronaldo’s intended move broke, Juventus shares popped almost 40%. The club also witnessed a massive social-media boost as its channels gained more than 1.5 million new followers in a single day.

Speaking of his transfer, Ronaldo said he hoped to “take Juventus to an even higher level,” according to the BBC. Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that he also said, “I want to leave my mark on the history of Juventus.”

It looks as if he may have already done those things without even kicking a ball.